Charleston County School District (CCSD) surprised Northwoods Middle School teacher Nathalie Bennett today with the announcement that she had been chosen as the 2022 CCSD Teacher of the Year. Kory Roberts of Memminger Elementary School, was named runner-up.
“I am just truly blown away,” said Bennett. “It is such an honor to be recognized by just my staff here and then the district as a whole. There are so many amazing educators that are giving their heart a soul every single day, and I am so honored to represent them and to be here doing what we do every day, giving our heart to our children.”
Bennett is a sixth grade math teacher at Northwoods Middle School and has been an educator for 13 years, holding various positions in North and South Carolina. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Biology from Wake Forest University.
What sets Bennett apart from her colleagues is her commitment to creating a welcoming environment where her students feel safe to learn and grow. Accomplishing this means participating in activities and organizations inside and outside of the classroom.
“I am so excited for Ms. Bennett,” said Principal Keturah Gadson. “I am so fortunate to have her as a teacher at Northwoods Middle School. Each day, Ms. Bennett strives to transform students’ lives by being the teacher who motivates scholars to unleash their highest potential.”
Her professional memberships include Girl Scouts of the United States of America and Girls Scouts of Eastern South Carolina (volunteer).
Bennett’s participation in school activities is extensive. She served as a School Improvement Council committee member while teaching at W.B. Goodwin Elementary and Pinehurst Elementary Schools; she was a member of either the PTO/PTA at all of the schools she taught in; was the Grade Chair of Goodwin, and is now in that role at Northwoods. Throughout her career, Bennett has served as a Professional Development leader on various topics.
Bennett’s recognitions are numerous and include being named a “Tireless Teacher” at Northwoods, a Personalized Learning Leader Cohort, Teacher of the Year nominee at Pinehurst, SC Science P.L.U.S. Institute participant, and a Wake Forest University 2005 Hall Award Winner (presented for excellence in student teaching to one graduating elementary teacher each year).
“What I am most passionate about is twofold: retaining teachers and helping students reach their full potential,” said Bennett.”
Bennett hopes to use this platform to emphasize the importance of teacher retention, especially in Title 1 schools.
“Ms. Bennett is an inspiration to all who work with her and her devotion to the profession and Northwoods Middle School has few rivals,” said Gadson. “We all know that teaching is a tough job, but Ms. Bennett’s commitment to using her skills and relationship with scholars to be a difference in their lives is unwavering. Her gracefulness and genuine interest in doing what is best for her students, colleagues, and the community we serve are demonstrated in all that she does.”
Gadson added that being named Charleston County School District’s Teacher of the Year highlights Bennett and her amazing work, but sadi that Bennet freely acknowledges this opportunity and honor isn’t just about her.
“She recognizes that there are many who serve with her to support our scholars and they all deserve a voice and praise,” said Gadson. “That perspective is what lets us know she is the perfect representative for our district’s teacher of the year.”
Roberts teaches fifth grade and is a third-year teacher. He graduated from College of Charleston in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. Additionally, Roberts was part of the “Call Me Mister” program and is a Boys With a Purpose Advocate.
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